Maid of the Mist tour boats at the Niagara Falls are to go electric.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced two new zero-emission passenger vessels will be launched later this year.
The catamaran-style boats for the tour service, which have been in operation since 1846, will be built in the US and are expected to provide more than 1.6 million guests from around the world with an up-close, noise and smoke-free view of the famous waterfall.
They have been designed by Propulsion Data Systems and are under construction by Burger Boat Company, while technology giant ABB will supply an integrated power and propulsion solution, including lithium ion battery packs and an onshore charging system.
This system will recharge the boats’ batteries to 80% capacity after each trip in only seven minutes.
The existing Maid of the Mist VI and Maid of the Mist VII, which are both powered by diesel and entered into service in 1990 and 1997 respectively, will be removed from service when the new vessels are launched.